Sunday, February 17, 2008

Flowers and Philosophy...

So it’s February, which means that my daffodils are blooming. Not MY daffodils, though, because I didn’t plant them; I only pick them—around three a week to put in a vase on my fireplace, if only to serve as a reminder that Yes, spring will be here soon. Of course, it’s 70 degrees outside today. What’s more spring-like than that?

The truth is my thumb is black. I can’t get anything to grow. And it’s sad, really, because every year around this time I go to Lowe’s and see the new seed display and think something crazy like: I really should grow my own pumpkins this year. Pumpkins? What? I know. But more than that, I love flowers. In fact, I waste between 3 and 5 dollars every year buying seeds that in the end just Do Not Grow. I don’t understand, really. I’ve even tried wildflowers—I mean, they grow from nothing on the side of the road, right?

Ha! Not for me, they don’t.

Funny how I can sit down every night for 2-3 months and end up with a 70,000 word novel, but I can’t grow sunflowers. I mean, I’m obviously not doing something right. Maybe I over-watered them? Or didn’t water them enough? Maybe I planted them too early and the cold weather killed them (yeah, it’s 70 degrees in February, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be 40 in April). Or maybe I planted them too deep . . . or not deep enough? It’s all kind of complicated, really. I know there’s this thing called “directions.” You should know that I follow them. I swear I do. That’s what baffles me.

Still, I know that in a few weeks when I head to Lowe’s I’ll see that seed display and want to try again. The same little bug bites once a year. I’ll even consider buying a potted plant—something pretty for the inside of my house. The problem is—while I can’t make the seeds GROW—in the case of potted plants I murder what was already living. And for that, I feel heinous.

What’s worse: I’m part of the lineage of a master gardener—he’s the one who planted the daffodils, I think, which is why I don’t touch them, and why I’m glad to see them return year after year. Because you know, if someone works really hard to make the world a prettier place than he found it, far be it from me to go and screw it all up. I can’t say that I don’t have fun trying (to make the world more beautiful, that is—NOT screw it up!), and I can’t say that I don’t enjoy the thoughts of what “could be,” but it does get a little disappointing year after year when I plant something and it doesn’t grow. I mean, I’d like to make the world a prettier place, too.

It just looks like, for now at least, “words” are my seeds.

Okay, I didn’t mean to go all emo or get philosophical on anyone today—maybe next time I’ll talk about Britney, or my “really” red hair and my now fluorescent roots, or about that time in high school when I used two different hair straightening products on my hair within a week, and I thought my hair was gonna fall out . . .


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